This week a blogpost was published on the attempt of Ship to Gaza activists Dror Feiler and Swedish MP Mehmet Kaplan to enter Israel, and their subsequent deportation. Israel had requested that they apply to appeal the 10-year entry ban imposed on all flotilla participants; Feiler and Kaplan both failed to do so. We received a comment from Feiler (below) asserting that, contrary to the statement released by the Israeli Interior Ministry, he had never signed a statement agreeing to the entry ban:
I would like to inform you and your reders [sic] that I never signed any document during my forced stay in Israel in May/June (after being forced into Israel). All such statements will be chalanched [sic] in Israeli courts and the Israeli authorities will ave [sic] to show those none [sic] existing documents.
We point out again that Feiler, having renounced his Israeli citizenship, is subject to the rules of entry that any sovereign state may impose on foreign nationals seeking entry. Again, Feiler failed to apply for an exemption to the entry ban at the Israeli embassy in Sweden where he resides, a fact which he does not deny.
In my conversation today with Israeli Ministry of the Interior spokeswoman Sabine Haddad, she reaffirmed that all the flotilla participants signed a statement acknowledging the 10-year entry ban prior to their release. Additionally, she pointed out that Irish activist and flotilla participant Mairead Maguire was denied entry to Israel in September; Feiler and Kaplan certainly knew this ban applied to them as well.
Feiler is free to contradict the Ministry statements and pretend that he is seeking justice instead of publicity, but in any case, Israel as a sovereign state must reserve the right to deny access to those who ally themselves with the Hamas regime in Gaza.
As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated:
“Hamas is guilty of at least four war crimes: inciting to genocide; systematically and intentionally firing on civilians; using civilians as human shields; and preventing visits by the Red Cross to kidnapped IDF soldier, Gilad Shalit.”
In the light of these and other documented crimes committed by Hamas, especially the ongoing detention of Gilad Shalit, complaints regarding their justifiable arrest and generous release—as Feiler and Kaplan were abetting Israel’s genocidal enemy—are merely the petty provocation of hypocrites.
By: Chanah Shapira